The healthcare industry has been through the proverbial gauntlet over the last few years. Between a global pandemic, supply chain challenges, and staffing shortages, many aspects of healthcare have been sacrificed within some organizations as they struggle to simply stay afloat —- patient care, unfortunately, among them. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin to right the ship, many would concur there needs to be a renewed focus on patient care.
Roy Bejarano, CEO of SCALE Healthcare, is bound to agree. His company offers comprehensive healthcare management consulting for a modern, collaborative healthcare landscape.
Today’s healthcare industry is influenced by several factors. Record-high inflation in the US is just one factor that greatly affects patient care.
“There is an inherent and very logical heightened fear within the hard-up business environment,” Bejarano shared with the Business Legacy Podcast. “If you ask the CEOs what they need, they will probably give you the same answer: ‘limitless resources.’ If you ask CEOs what they’re most afraid of, it’s running out of resources. When the economy is unhealthy, so are we.”
The environment that Bejarano and other consultants are seeing is one where many are struggling to create value for patients. In Bejarano’s opinion, that is what it should be about — creating value.
Signal and noise
To cut through the noise of post-Covid worries, inflation concerns, and a lack of focus on value for patients, industry experts like Bejarano are emphasizing the importance of innovation. “[Healthcare] is one of the most fabulous, rapidly changing industries I’ve ever been a part of,” Bejarano says, adding that rapid change towards better, value-based care should be the focus of healthcare management plans.
To implement value-based care models, healthcare organizations will need to assess their current processes and see where a value-based approach may fit, such as gaps in care and communication that must be identified and addressed. Technology plays a significant role in moving to a value-based care model. Organizations should leverage technology to better communicate with staff and patients, to quicken the caregiving from initial appointment to diagnosis and treatment, and to collect significant data to better inform future decisions.
Healthcare management is not a task that is well covered alone. It takes a village to bring the best care possible to patients, to elevate technology innovations to the point where they become status quo, and to make lasting changes that improve the industry as a whole.
Sharing and community also play a role in the value-based care model. Organizations should foster collaborative approaches with other clinicians and experts in the field to better share information, learn new skills, and assist patients with complicated needs.
Entities such as insurance companies and managed care organizations (MCOs) need to be thought of as strategic partners, rather than adversarially, by healthcare providers. Dealing with insurance filing and payment collection can be challenging for clinicians and patients alike. By working with experts in the field to exchange information and become more well-versed in insurance topics, clinicians and other providers can get closer to adding value for patients — rather than merely funneling them through an outdated and clunky system.
Community partnerships can also help bring care to more patients and specialty care to medical deserts, such as rural areas. Healthcare entities looking to grow and scale may also run up against hurdles, as it’s common for organizations to possess a growth mindset, yet fail to put that into practice when it comes to scaling their processes and systems.
Entities want to save money, but at the same time, many are aware of challenges that can arise with healthcare access. It is a delicate balance to achieve, but one that businesses like SCALE Healthcare have nevertheless focused on for their clients.
Transformation of patient care
Transforming patient care and bringing it to the level it needs to be to help the greatest amount of people is not an overnight process. There are many factors that need to fall into place to develop robust, value-based healthcare approaches and a truly collaborative industry.
Bejarano wants to help organizations recognize challenges and devise solutions that take into account innovation, available technology resources, and what a community approach can bring to patients. “While many healthcare organizations still do well in terms of revenue and patient satisfaction, all organizations can likely find room for improvement or innovation amid their processes,” he says. “Modern-day healthcare is an industry constantly in flux, and managers should always be on the lookout for better ways to serve their patients.”
As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve due to various social factors, governmental influence, or global shifts in mindset and expectations, healthcare entities with a value-based care foundation and growth mindset will continue to improve matters for patients. Bejarano is confident that with the right support, healthcare managers will be able to make the necessary changes within their organizations to meet the moment in healthcare.